The United States recently tightened restrictions of food imports from Japan. According to Import Alert 99-33 issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a list of Japanese food will be banned unless they pass physical examination. This list includes milk, butter, milk-based infant formula, other milk products, vegetables and vegetable products, rice and whole grain, fish, meat and poultry, venus clams, sea urchins, yuzu fruit, and Kiwi fruit.
The FDA indicates that revision to this import alert is due to radionuclide contamination.
On March 11, 2011, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake triggering a tsunami struck the Pacific Coast of Japan. The force of the tsunami destroyed a great deal of the infrastructure along portions of the Japanese coast. The most notable damage was at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant — which houses several nuclear reactors that pose a potential threat of radiological contamination to the surrounding areas. Due to the public health concerns associated with radiation and nuclear contamination, the FDA increased surveillance of regulated products from Japan.
The FDA says it will continue consultation with the Japanese government to ensure products from the affected prefectures do not pose a health risk to U.S. consumers. The FDA will continue monitoring the public health risks and when appropriate, remove the Import Alert.